Ranger killed at Mount Rainier was mom, Eatonville resident

staff writersJanuary 1, 2012 

The park ranger shot and killed this morning at Mount Rainier National Park was a 34-year-old mother of two from Eatonville.

Margaret Anderson was married to another ranger, Eric Anderson, and had two daughters, neighbor Adam Norton said.

He said the couple and their two daughters moved to the neighborhood near the heart of Eatonville a year or so ago.

He said the couple often worked different shifts at the park. Margaret Anderson and another neighbor often went walking in the mornings, he said.

He said he didn't know Margaret Anderson well, but "from what I could tell, her whole life was about her girls."

Former Mount Rainier National Park Superintendent Dave Uberuaga described Anderson as quiet and deliberate.

"The way I describe her, she was focused on improving the park programs she was responsible for," he said. "She was a mom first and foremost, but you’d never know that at work. (She and her husband) were able to work it out so they could be home with the kids.

"Balancing two park service careers, taking care of the kids, and being so good at what she did is amazing," Uberuaga said

Garry Olson, the fire chief at Pierce County Fire District 23, said his fire department works regularly with the national park, and he'd worked with Anderson. They do about 25 transports from the park each year, he said.

“She was a very pleasant lady and she work hard,” Olson said.

Anderson coordinated a mass casualty drill in 2010 that involved various departments in Pierce County as well the national park.

“Those are very complicated,” Olson said. “And it went very well.”

Olson also arranged with the Pierce County Fire Department No. 23 for a three-day EMS refresher classes for park rangers.

“It was important to her to do a good job,” Olson said. "She was a professional."

Olson worked as a climbing ranger at Mount Rainier National Park for 26 years until 1994. "The world has changed," Olson said. "When I was at the park it used to be that we just greeted people and asked how they were doing."

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar issued the following statement regarding the slaying of National Park Service Ranger Margaret Anderson:

"I am deeply saddened by the tragic, horrific and cowardly murder today at Mount Rainier National Park. The Department of the Interior and the National Park Service will do everything possible to bring the perpetrator of this crime to justice and to ensure the safety of park visitors and other park rangers. This tragedy serves as a reminder of the risks undertaken by the men and women of the National Park Service and law enforcement officers across the Department every day, and we thank them for their service. My thoughts and prayers are with Margaret's family in this difficult time."

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